Studio News

We are open for business!

Higher Voice Studio’s debut and grand opening of our new location in beautiful Downtown Carnegie was a huge success!!  Over three hundred people came to wish us well, eat, sing and bless our new location with music and joy!  Click here for a moving article by Harry Funk of Pittsburgh’s Almanac, complete with a music video memorializing the occasion.  Thank you to Jack Kobistek, the Mayor of Carnegie for helping us cut the ribbon and to all of you for making Higher Voice Studio a success!


Studio News – August 2017

We have a new teacher!  Kevin Milliken will begin teaching piano for singers starting, Monday, September 6th. He will also be available for accompanying, music coaching, theory and musicianship lessons.

The Hobbs Sisters opened for The Charlie Daniels Band this past Friday at the Champaign County Fair.  Just back from their writing sabbatical in Nashville where they played at The Bluebird Cafe, were crowned the winner of the Nashville Rising Star competition, and “wrote more songs than they know what to do with,” their newest original album Love Hangover is climbing on iTunes.  Keep up with all the excitement on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Tessa Victoria‘s newest original “89 Airstream” is out on YouTube.  Now a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, a finalist of the Nashville Rising Star competition and a frequent performer at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, follow her on Facebook and Instagram for all of her upcoming shows .

Studio News – July 2017

Marcy Smith heads to Interlochen Center for the Arts for her first summer as a musical theater major.

Kara Rantovich is spending her summer at the Southeastern Summer Theater Institute in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Virtue in “Anything Goes” is done and now she prepares for Elizabeth in “Young Frankenstein.”

Pittsburgh’s rapper FRZY has been very busy taking lessons in the studio as part of his recovery from throat surgery.   Stay tuned to his website because…. big news is coming!

Right off of her Children’s Theater Festival Performance at EQT Plaza in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Ariel Cameroe headed to PNC Park, Monday July 17th to sing our national anthem for the Pittsburgh Pirates!  Watch the movie about her journey to the plate and back…

Continuing their THSPLAYITLOUD summer campaign, The Hobbs Sisters performed at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN.   They were also seen and heard at Seven Springs Ribfest, Shippensburg Fair and Rivers Casino Outdoor Concert with the one and only Chris Higbee.  Tickets are on sale now for The Champaign County Fair with the Charlie Daniels Band on August 4th.  Do not miss it y’all!

Charm & Chain performed at the Deutschtown Music Festival and on August 12th will be at the James Street Gatropub and Speakeasy.

Studio News – June 2017

Sean Michael Plumb performed the role of Dandini in the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle Cenerentola opera production at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Germany.

The Hobbs Sisters spent most of June in Nashville performing and writing more songs than they know what to do with.  Tennessee highlights include Jack Daniel’s Saloon at Opryland and Commodore Grille… and they aren’t done yet!  A little blue bird told me something big about July…..

Watch Abbey Evanko perform the national anthem at the Collier Municipal Memorial Day celebration.

Josh Lyda and Ariel Cameroe are busy in rehearsals for Little Lake Theater’s upcoming production of School House Rock.  See their website for ticket information.

Alana Solomon is back from her first year at Belmont University in Nashville majoring in commercial voice with an emphasis in music business.

Studio News – May 2017

Higher Voice Studio is now offering classes for the summer and fall in our new building!  Click the link above to see all of the new things you can learn!

Matty Thornton played Claude in Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s recent production of Hair.  So much incredible singing, so much dancing and so much HAIR!!!

The Gene Kelly Nominations are in!  Congratulations Chelsea Calfo (Best Actress) for Reno Sweeney in CAPA’s Anything Goes, Devin Moore (Best Actor) for Sweeney Todd & Jenna Wood (Best Supporting Actress) for Beggar Woman in Chartiers Valley High School’s Sweeney Todd.

Higher Voice Studio’s Evan Dean is in the news!  Harry Funk writes about Evan’s songwriting and unique musical style here.  Evan talks about his original song Roll Away The Stone, saying “That’s a song about learning to love yourself, about being down and feeling outcast and unwanted, and then loved,” he explained, “and learning how to roll that weight off myself and appreciate who I am, without judgment.”

Carly DeCock performed her final role- Molly in Peter and The Starcatcher- as an apprentice at Little Lake Theater.  Watch her video about the performance here.

Ariel Cameroe will be a featured performer in Little Lake’s upcoming production of School House Rock.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page for upcoming performance dates.

Studio News – April 2017

Emily Maloney did a fantastic job in South Fayette High School’s production of Mary Poppins and Sarah Logan wowed everyone with her Jane Banks!

Peters High School’s production of Les Miserables was extraordinary. Such commitment, talent, passion and energy. Of course, Chloe Mesogitis blew Eponine out of the water!  And who couldn’t stop watching Nicholas Traficante (Bishop), Ellie Racunas (Grantaire) and Gabrielle Hollander (Ensemble)?  Easily, one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen a high school do.

Anneliese Wolfanger put her soprano chops aside as Ursula in Elk County’s production of The Little Mermaid.  Yes, some sopranos can belt low as well as they can sing high!

Yay Kara Rantovich!  We thoroughly agree!  “Probably the most outstanding performance was of Darlene Love, the narrator, who stole the show whenever she was on stage. With a voice that would be complemented by the rhythm of any time period, she belted out every song she sang, making it impossible not to want to get up and dance along.”  Read the full Pittsburgh Post Gazette article here.

SO proud of Riley Thornton’s portrayal of the title role in Chartiers Valley Middle School’s production of Cinderella last night! Such grace and beautiful singing! Also, a huge shout out to Cora Gibson (Stepsister), Gabrielle Abriatis (Stepmother) and Kate Pipilo (Maiden 1) Terrific job ladies!

Higher Voice Studio’s singers Carly DeGrutolla, Dana DeSantis, Paige Krupp and Abby Solomon filled the stage of TJ High School’s production of Shrek!

Studio News – March 2017

Upper St. Clair High School has announced the cast lists for their upcoming production of The Drowsy Chaperone! And all of our leads are on the SAME NIGHTS!!! Emily McFerran is Janet Van De Graaf, Wyatt Keating is Robert Martin, Carly DeCock is The Drowsy Chaperone and Allison Epler will be the fearlessly leading the dancers as their captain! Performances are Friday, March 3rd, Saturday, March 4th and Friday, March 10th all at 7:30p.m. IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZING!!!!!!

Laurie Kudis is currently in the studio with her band Charm & Chain recording a new album! Exciting things are in the works!

Higher Voice Studio’s 2017 Recital was a success from beginning to end.  The singers ranged from 7 to 60+ and featured classical, musical theater, rock, country and even that catchy song from Moana!  For performances, check out our Facebook page.

Our fearless leader, Hilerie Klein Rensi, will be stretching her Sondheim muscles in Side By Side By Sondheim the first weekend of March with Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. Get your tickets now!!!!

Sweeney Todd at Chartiers Valley High School was awesome this week!!! So many of our singers, families and friends in one spot!  Congrats to Devin Moore (Sweeney Todd), Nicholas Kletzli (Anthony Hope), Jenna Wood (Beggar Woman), Delaney Molnar (Johanna), Hunter Briggs (Tobias Ragg), Charlie Kovach (Jonas Fogg), Hannah Thornton, Allie Nomides and Gina Wilamowski (Featured Soloists), Sheridan Molnar, Maddy Mulligan, Katherine Palma, Hannah Salerno, Ashley Teti and Lena Werner (Ensemble).

Emily Palma and her dad, Marty Palma will be featured extras in the Netflix original series Mindhunter starring Hamilton‘s Jonathan Groff.  The show is slated to premier in October 2017.

Studio News – February 2017

Sean Michael Plumb talks about beginning his voice lessons as a boy soprano with Hilerie Klein Rensi in Opera News Magazine coming out this April.  Sean will be performing the role of Harlekin in the opera Ariadne in Munich this spring.  Pick up your copy today at Barnes and Nobles.

The Drowsy Chaperone at Upper St. Clair High School was not only one of the best production at USC we’ve seen, but one of the best high school productions we’ve EVER seen. Carly DeCock (The Drowsy Chaperone), Emily McFerran (Janet Van De Graaff), Wyatt Keating (Robert Martin), Kiera James (Mrs. Tottendale), May Higginbotham & Andrea Mays (Ensemble) and Allison Epler (Dance Captain).

What an intense weekend it was at Susquehanna University for the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Competition. Everyone did so incredibly well and walked out of every round knowing they had nailed it. We couldn’t be prouder of these singers- Emily Maloney, Alexis Graves, Marcella Smith, Anneliese Wolfanger, Hunter Briggs and Matty Thornton.

And the winners are…. Anneliese Wolfanger- Second Place, Classical, Upper High School Division, Hunter Briggs- First Place, Musical Theater, Lower High School Division, and Matty Thornton- Third Place, Musical Theater, Upper High School Division. National Association of Teachers of Singing, Eastern Region at Susquehanna University. Next stop….NATIONALS!!!!

Sweeney Todd at Chartiers Valley High School was awesome this week!!! So many of our singers, families and friends in one spot!  Congrats to Devin Moore (Sweeney Todd), Nicholas Kletzli (Anthony Hope), Jenna Wood (Beggar Woman), Delaney Molnar (Johanna), Hunter Briggs (Tobias Ragg), Charlie Kovach (Jonas Fogg), Hannah Thornton, Allie Nomides and Gina Wilamowski (Featured Soloists), Sheridan Molnar, Maddy Mulligan, Katherine Palma, Hannah Salerno, Ashley Teti and Lena Werner (Ensemble).

Adriane Slater played Fiona in Bethel Park High School’s production of Shrek and Higher Voice Studio came out to support her on opening night! Great job everyone!!!!!

Studio News – January 2017

We are ready to announce Higher Voice Studio’s 2017 Recital!  Sunday, February 12th from 2-5p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Upper St Clair, PA we celebrate talent, hard work, dedication, bravery and friendship at our Annual Higher Voice Studio Recital. It’s completely free to the public and we would love to see you there! There will also be cookies and punch following…. and who can say “no” to cookies and punch?!?!

Audrey Logan will be performing Belle in South Fayette Middle School’s production of Beauty and the Beast.  Performances are Thursday, February 23rd at 7 p.m., Friday, February 24th at 7 p.m. and Saturday, February 25th at 2 p.m. This is Audrey’s third lead role at the middle school and this girl just gets better and better!  Here is her performance of Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love Of All” at her school assembly last year…. in 7th grade…. at 12 years old.

Riley Thornton will be performing the role of Cinderella in Chartiers Valley Middle School’s upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella! Joining her on stage is Kate Pipilo as Maiden 1 and Erica Everett in the ensemble. Performances are Thursday, April 6th at 7:30, Friday, April 7th at 7:30 and Saturday, April 8th at 7:30. Tickets go on sale here, February 5th!

Eight weeks of competition ended with Higher Voice Studio’s John Ladik Jr. winning the 2016 Linden Grove Nightclub Karaoke Competition singing “I’m Already There” by Lone Star. What a night!

Congratulations to Noah Stiglich who landed the role of Mayor Shinn in St. Thomas Moore’s upcoming production of The Music Man. Performances are Friday, April 28th at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 29th at 2 p.m.​

​Higher Voice Studio’s students swept the recent auditions for Chartiers Valley High School’s upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Devin Moore- Sweeney Todd, Delaney Molnar- Johanna, Nick Kletzli- Anthony Hope, Hunter Briggs- Tobias Ragg, Charlie Kovach- Jonas Fogg, Jenna Wood- Beggar Woman/Lucy Todd. And the incredibly talented ensemble performers- Sheridan Molnar, Madison Mulligan, Katherine Palma, Hannah Salerno, Hannah Thornton and Lena Werner. If it’s half as good as last year’s Gene Kelly Award-winning production of Les Miserables, then this will be a show NOT to miss! Performances are March 8-11 at 7:30 p.m. See the link for tickets!

​When Alex Barcic isn’t practicing for his voice lesson with Higher Voice Studio’s Evan Dean, he’s playing 1st chair guitar in Pennsylvania Music Educator’s Association (PMMEA) Jazz Band and winning the Guitar Sessions Scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in the Fall. Listen to his video submission here and let the music take you away….

Make sure to get your tickets for Seton LaSalle’s upcoming production of Leader Of The Pack!  This jukebox musical stars Higher Voice Studio’s Kara Rantovich as Darlene Love and celebrates the doo-wop sounds of the 60’s. Performances are Thursday, March 23rd, Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th at 7:30p.m.

Congratulations to all our PMEA District Chorus singers! District 1- Carly DeCock- 1st Chair, Soprano 2, Adriane Slater- 2nd Chair, Soprano 2, Alexis Graves, 1st Chair, Alto 1, Wyatt Keating- 14th Chair, Tenor 2. District 2- Anneliese Wolfanger- 1st Chair, Soprano 1, Marcy Smith- 6th Chair, Alto 1. All the students qualify to move on to Regions! Anneliese Wolfanger also earned a District Full Concert Solo for her performance of “La Separazione” by Rossini and Marcy Smith earned a Full Song Banquet Solo for her performance of “Mister Snow” from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Bravi Tutti!

Studio News from 2016

We have bought a building! What began in Hilerie’s “closet” studio at McNeil Music in New York, has grown into a beautiful, 6200 sqft building in the heart of downtown Carnegie, PA. The bottom floor will offer a performance venue for masterclasses and intimate recitals, and the top two floors will provide our incredibly talented team of teachers with studios and small classroom space. We’re expanding to include piano and guitar lessons for singers, sight singing and ear training classes and beginning voice classes for ages 6-10. We’ll also be offering more Music Together® classes for our smallest singers and the families that love them, singer-songwriter workshops and free monthly masterclasses for all members of Higher Voice Studio. There will be so much more to talk about this spring, so stay tuned!  144 E Main Street, Carnegie, here we come!!!​​​​

​​​Emily Palma blew Adelaide out of the water this past summer in CCAC’s production of Guys & Dolls and now is looking to add a theater minor to her current college pursuits.

Matty Thornton (The Baker), Hunter Briggs (Jack), Delaney Molnar (The Baker’s Wife), Lena Werner (Narrator), Nick Kletzli (Cinderella’s Prince), Charlie Kovach (Rapunzel’s Prince) and Hannah Thornton (Rapunzel) starred in Chartiers Valley High School’s production of Into The Woods on November 12th.  What a show!

​Wyatt Keating will be performing the role of Eugene Grant in Upper St Clair High School’s production of Look Homeward Angel ​by Ketti Frings based on the novel by Thomas Wolfe.  Performances are October 26,27,29 at 7:30 and October 30 at 2:00.

Sean Michael Plumb has just won the The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and will be spending the 2016-2017 season as a principal singer “festing” at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich.  Season highlights include Dandini in ‘La Cenerentola’, Harlekin in ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’, Morales in ‘Carmen’, and many more!

Not only did all four Higher Voice Studio student’s place in the semi-finals of the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Regional Competition this spring, but Emily Maloney was ranked top 5 in the Freshman & Sophomore Musical Theater Women Division, Hunter Briggs won 3rd place in the Freshman & Sophomore Musical Theater Men Division, and Anneliese Wolfanger won 2nd place in the Freshman & Sophomore Classical Women Division. Congratulations to ALL!!!!

Dayna Desantis’s newest single, Like Rome, is now available on iTunes.  Beautiful, haunting, soulful…we could go on and on……

Congratulations to Hannah Thornton (Eponine), Devin Moore (Jean Valjean), Matty Thornton (Javert), Alec Kinslow (Marius), Hunter Briggs (Grantaire & Laborer)  Allie Nomides (Gavroche), Katherine Palma (Featured Solist), Lena Werner, Rebecca Barton, and their friends and family that contributed to a wonderful production of Les Miserables at Chartiers Valley High School.

Congratulations to Katie Zemaitis!  Joining the ranks of Pittsburgh talented Jackie Evancho and Chris Jamison, Katie has made it to the final round of Kean Quest on April 1st.

Upper St Clair High School just finished their final weekend of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas featuring Carly DeCock (Betty), Mariya Savinov (Martha), Wyatt Keating (Snoring Man), Allison Epler (Dancer) and Emily McFerran (Lead Dancer).

Jared Campbell’s newest release Meet The Future is now available on iTunes and The Blue Project, an interactive live performance geared toward middle school and high school students, is touring all across the East and Midwest.  His message focuses on overcoming obstacles, anti-bullying, respect, leadership and having an amazing outlook on life.  To book him for your next event or school assembly, contact him at, or visit his websites at or The Blue Project.

Julia Wodarek performed the role of Wendy in St. Gabriel’s recent production of Peter Pan.

12 year old Audrey Logan was featured as the lead role of Rosie Alvarez in Bye Bye Birdie at South Fayette Middle School this past spring.  Enjoy her National Anthem at the Washington Wild Things baseball game here and her most recent performance of The Greatest Love of All.

Chloe Mesogitis will be making her Carnegie Hall debut in NYC soloing with Acapella Adrenalin under the direction of Deek Sharon from the movie Pitch Perfect.

Congratulations to Adriane Slater for her role as Niki Harris in Bethel Park High School’s production of Curtains.

You can see Megan Jones this weekend at Ithaca College performing in a Sondheim review titled Alex’s Capstone: Sondheim on Sondheim.

One of Laurie Kudis’ original songs “Hunter” from her release Heliacal Rose was featured this week on the Women of Substance podcast!  Use this link to download the show and vote to keep the song in rotation.  Visit Charm and Chain‘s website to stay up to date on their many upcoming gigs.

Congratulations to Alana Solomon who will be attending Belmont University this fall majoring in commercial music.  Subscribe to her Youtube channel here.

The Hobbs Sisters bring a killer combination of big voices, twin sister harmonies and high energy performance to the stage. Whether headlining shows in the Pittsburgh tri-state area or opening for national acts such as Lady Antebellum, Brett Eldredge, The Swon Brothers and more, they are making a name for themselves as both singers and entertainers. From their harmony-driven original songs to their unique interpretations of popular country covers, The Hobbs Sisters have created a sound that is all their own.  Their debut EP is available on iTunes and on their website.   Their brand new song, “Cover Up” has also been nominated for NSAI’s Top 40 List! Cast your vote here and give them 5 stars!

Johnny Luoma received his first SAG contract as a featured extra (Hospital Caroler) in the holiday movie Love The Coopers and he has been very busy touring as Douglas in Pittsburgh CLO Academy’s Gallery of Heroes Tour- The Incredibly Innovative Innovators of Pittsburgh.

If you have not yet checked out B. Mattie’s cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” be sure to and share it if you like it!  Visit his websitefor up to date performance dates.

Congratulations to Maria Long (1st Chair, Soprano 1, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Districts), Carly DeCock (1st Chair, Soprano 2, PMEA Districts) and Mariya Savinov (1st Chair, Alto 1, PMEA Districts).

Johnny Only is busy performing his weekly preschool music program every Wednesday morning at 10:00AM at Highland Park in Endicott, NY.  To purchase CD’s and T-shirts, and for upcoming gigs see his website or find him on Facebook!

When Lana Kipp isn’t busy conducting the Chartiers Valley Middle and High School Choruses, she is leading the soprano section of the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale.

Tessa Victoria has just won the Nashville Rising Star Preliminary Competition and will be returning to the Wild Wing Cafe on October 26, 2016 in Nashville for the semi-finals.  She has been steadily performing since her graduation from Berklee College of Music and debuted at the The Bitter End, the oldest Rock and Roll club in NYC , this past May and The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville in January.  Check her out on Youtube and follow her on Facebook for the most up to date performance dates.  Watch out for this up and coming performer, both she and her music are a force to be reckoned with!

Chelsea Calfo will be covering the role of Maria at Pittsburgh CAPA High School this April and playing a Jet girl.

Kara Rantovich is part of the Seton-LaSalle Trebles who are on their way to the National Semi-Finals at The Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School Acapella Competition.  Also, she is going to be playing the lead role of Lola in this year’s school musical Barry Manilow’s Copacabana.